Abstract for: Intersecting inequalities in organizations: the pay gap

Organizations show persistent gender-, class- and ethnicity-based inequalities between employees in terms of remuneration. Despite decades of diversity scholarship, anti-discrimination legislation and diversity management, gender and ethnic pay gaps persist. Such inequalities increasingly meet societal resistance. Scholars mainly explain inequalities based on the demographic characteristics of hiring panels, workforce and management, assuming linear causality between these characteristics and the observed unequal outcomes. However, inequalities are more complex. This poster develops a feedback perspective on pay gaps, conceptualizing the feedback of intersecting inequalities in organizations to further the theoretical understanding of inequalities. A feedback perspective reveals how elements of inequalities interact in such a way that they reinforce or balance each other. Such a perspective helps us to understand why pay gaps co-occur rather than appear in isolation, why addressing a single demographic cause is often not effective, and how to predict the potential effects of interventions that address multiple inequalities simultaneously. We conceptualize the feedback of intersecting gender, ethnicity and class inequalities in a causal loop diagram of the pay gap.